The citizens of the European Union, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland can stay and work in Poland for the first three months only on the basis of their ID cards or passports. Those who plan to stay longer than 3 months are obliged to register their stay in the Voivodeship Office (Urząd Wojewódzki) of the region (voivodeship) where they intend to reside at latest on the next day following the first three months of their stay.
Third country citizens can enter Poland based on one of the following:
- Visa-free movement
- Residence card/Visa issued by another Schengen country
- Visa to Poland
- Short-term mobility of researchers (intra-EU mobility)
You can stay in Poland within the periods permitted by the above-mentioned documents. If you intend to stay longer, you are obliged to legalise your stay by obtaining a residence permit (a residence card).
There are some countries with visa-free traffic to Poland, based on agreements on visa-free movement. This means that if you are a citizen of such a country you can arrive in Poland just on the basis of a valid travel document. Remember, however, that the total stay on the territory of the Schengen area cannot exceed 90 days within each 180-day period, though some countries are exceptions to this rule.
For detailed information on the visa-free movement please visit the Office for Foreigners website.
You can enter Poland for up to 90 days counted within each 180-day period on the basis of a visa or a residence card issued by another Schengen country. The 90 days can be spent in Poland at one time or as several visits.
However, if you intend to visit Poland for the purpose of work (scientific research, delegation, conference, teaching, etc.), your document must entitle you to do that (for example you cannot work in Poland based on a tourist visa); you may also need a work permit.
For further information please visit the Office for Foreigners website.
Visas to Poland are issued by Polish Embassies or Consulates. If you need a visa to enter Poland you should contact the Polish Embassy or Consulate in your own country or your current country of residence at the earliest possible opportunity and inquire about the application process and the required documents. The Polish Embassy or Consulate should be your final source of information as the rules and requirements may differ from country to country.
If anyone intends to accompany you, it is advisable to apply for visas for every person at the same time even if they intend to join you in Poland at a later date.
Visas are issued for multiple or single entry.
For detailed information on visas to Poland please visit the Euraxess website.
Types of visas
You may apply for various types of visas, depending on the duration and purpose of your stay.
There are two main visa types, depending on the duration of your stay:
- a Schengen "C" type visa - is for stays of up to 90 days within each 180-day period either in several specified countries of the Schengen area or in the whole Schengen area, depending on the planned stay. The validity period of the visa can be even 5 years but any stay in the Schengen country/ies cannot be longer than the 90 days.
- a National "D" type visa - can be issued for a maximum period of 365 days, depending on the length of your planned stay in Poland. Having the D-type visa also entitles you to travel to other Schengen countries for max 90 days within the 180-day period.
There are numerous visa types, depending on the purpose of your stay, such as a visa for the purpose of work, study, conducting scientific research or development works, turist visit. Remember that working in Poland is not permitted on the basis of a tourist visa or visa for the purpose of visiting family or friends.
How to apply for a visa to Poland
- Contact your local Polish Embassy or Consulate and inquire about the visa application procedure and the required documents.
- Register on-line at https://secure.e-konsulat.gov.pl.
- Fill in the visa application form.
- Prepare the required documents. Depending on the visa purpose, different documents may be needed, as they have to prove the purpose and conditions of your planned stay in Poland. Typical documents required for the visa application include:
- a hosting agreement/work contract/a scholarship agreement/admission document to the study or PhD programme,
- documents proving necessary financial resources,
- document proving health insurance in the territory of Poland,
- address of stay in Poland,
- travel document, e.g. passport,
- visa fee (typically 80 euros),
- if you are coming with your family members, documents proving family ties, such as marriage and birth certificates.
Please contact the Embassy/Consulate for the full list of the required documents.
The duration of the visa procedure should not exceed 15 days. You can stay in Poland legally until the last day of the visa validity date.
Foreign researchers who hold a residence permit or a long-term visa (with the annotation “researcher”) issued by one European Union country can go to other EU countries, including Poland, for the purpose of conducting part of their scientific research for the period of up to 180 days in any period of 360 days. This rule is called short-term mobility of researchers and applies also to their family members. This procedure requires informing the Polish Office for Foreigners about the planned visit in Poland at least 30 days before your arrival.
For further information on short-term mobility for researchers please visit the Euraxess website.